Throughout the world, cooperatives are making a significant contribution to sustainable economic development and providing stability in labour markets. People are coming together to form cooperatives on a voluntary basis to solve common economic, social, and cultural issues. Two hundred and fifty million people are working in cooperatives globally (not including external part-time and temporary workers), and in the G20 countries, cooperatives provide jobs for 12% of the entire working population, while the turnover of the worlds 300 largest cooperatives totals approximately USD 2.2 trillion. The worlds largest, the International Co-operative Alliance, represents the interests of close to a record 1 billion individual members. As cooperatives belong to and are run by and serve the interests of their members, they enable effective resolution of economic issues and the development of social and human capital and formation of communities of people, making cooperatives one of the most effective means to maintain economic and social stability. Cooperatives are frequently founded on mutual assistance. As a form of organization, cooperatives demonstrate high rates of survival and sustainability in times of crisis. What is the role of cooperatives globally? What prospects are there for developing the cooperative movement in the Russian Federation? How are cooperatives beneficial in the context of addressing existing social issues and economic challenges?